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The defender hits out at those "slagging off" the Catalans and insists that the team are perfectly poised to continue their challenge for three trophies this season

Jordi Alba has lashed out at "ridiculous" critics of Barcelona, claiming people are simply out to harm the reigning La Liga champions.

The Catalans have fallen behind Real Madrid in the race for the title in Spain, albeit only by three points, but have made it to the Copa del Rey final and have a healthy 2-0 lead heading into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at Camp Nou against Manchester City.

However, their altered style of play under Gerardo Martino and two defeats in February have combined to draw criticism in the direction of the Catalans, but the left-back dismissed it as hearsay that is created to derail the club's hopes of success.

"The criticism is coming from people from outside the club that want to do us harm," Alba, 24, told reporters at a promotional event. "It's just a slagging off, it's nothing objective.

"These days, many ridiculous things have been said, but the team are calm about it.

"We're doing fine in all three of the competitions and we're out to win every one of them. It's important that in all three it's up to us. We have to be united."

Barca are back in La Liga action on Sunday at home to Almeria, where a win could see them return to the top of the table if Atletico Madrid defeat Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon earlier that day.

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